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Can I Really Be Arrested for a Social Media Threat?

Many people understand that threatening the life of the President is a crime. It doesn’t matter if it takes place in person or on a social networking site like Facebook. It is considered a serious threat, and all such threats are investigated. The President isn’t the only one protected from such threats, however; the general public is as well.

Cyber threats are considered very serious. A federal law makes it illegal to threaten to hurt another person, even if that threat is online. The same law covers threats made by email and through the U.S. Postal Service. States have similar laws. If you are convicted of making such threats, you could be fined or sent to jail, maybe even both.

Reporting Threats

You generally have no requirement to report threats that you see online. Though you have no legal obligation to report such crimes, you may have a moral obligation to do so. If you are surfing the Internet and come across any criminal plans or suspicious activity, call 911.

Alternatively, you can report such crimes or activities to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by contacting your local field office. You can also file a complain with the Internet Crime Complain Center.

Think Twice

It is easy to sit behind a computer screen and post musings while you are angry or upset. Instead of doing this, stand up and walk away. You could be breaking federal and state laws by what you are saying online. If you do need to get it all out, write it down on paper, then destroy that paper.

Anonymity is assumed online but it is rarely the case. Your IP address is traceable, and an enterprising individual can easily figure out who you really are and where you are located. Sending threats via email or participating in cyber bullying is never a wise move. You don’t want law enforcement officialshttp 192.168 o 1.1 admin knocking on your door asking you to answer for your behavior.

Legal Advice

In some instances, you may want to seek legal advice before you report criminal activity. You may be worried that you will not be able to remain anonymous or that you are crying wolf. An attorney experienced in cyber crimes can guide you and help you make the determination to report or not to report what you have discovered.

Posting on social media is a daily occurrence for many people, and those postings rarely have any threatening nature to them. In some cases, however, people take to social media to vent their anger and frustrations. If this is you, we urge you to think twice before you post. A general rule of thumb is this: If you wouldn’t approach a person and verbalize your thoughts, don’t post it online.

If you are arrested for criminal activity in Orlando, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Call our team of attorneys today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your arrest and advise you of your legal options. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

Find Out How Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help You Katz & Phillips, P.A. works to try to keep your record clear and keep you out of jail, or to minimize the possible penalties of serious charges you face. To learn more, call today and speak with an experienced member of our legal team